Capt Joy Atugonza (L) jubilates with Brig Ondoga after they were acquitted of their charges in May 2015

After less than a year on ‘katebe’, Brigadier Michael Ondoga, the former commander of the Ugandan peacekeeping contingent in Somalia has appointed a deputy director at the Nakasongola based arms factory, National Enterprise Corporations (NEC).

The battle-hardened commander will oversee the sensitive Kyoga Project, the pseudo-name for the military’s Nakasongola-based explosives’ programme.

Ondoga, 56, who spent two years on remand at Makindye Military Police Headquarters’ cell and had been charged with 13 counts of spreading false propaganda against his junior during military operations in Somalia. Some of the counts attract a death sentence on conviction. It was alleged that the President subsequently cancelled Brig Ondoga’s new appointment as military attaché to Nairobi and ordered that he and 23 others face court martial.

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“He [Ondoga] is heading one of the subsidiaries,” Maj Gen James Mugira, appointed as the corporation’s director in April 2015, told etruth Uganda. The newly re-assigned brigadier began work on Monday, last week.

“It’s correct, I can confirm [the appointments],” Defence and militray spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said, adding:  “It’s a significant development because NEC is now robust [and] in the wider realm of defence industry and we are developing at the moment.”

President Museveni in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces also named former General Court Martial chairman, Brig Moses Ddiba Ssentongo, as the corporation’s deputy director in-charge of general duties.

Ondoga timeline

  • Oct 2013: Ondoga arrested
  • Nov 2, 2013: Charged and remanded
  • Nov 5, 2014: Denied bail
  • Feb 6, 2015: State pleads for more time to present witnesses
  • Jan 21, 2014: Denied bail again
  • Early March: Denied bail again
  • Feb 13, 2014: Trial flops over lack of quorum in court martial
  • Feb 14, 2014: Trial starts behind closed doors
  • Early May: Undergoes “minor” operation at Bombo Military Hospital
  • May 14, 2014: Trial resumes three days after being discharged from hospital
  • Feb 20, 2015: His lawyer asks court to dismiss charges against Ondoga, saying the State “bungled up” its case with “fabricated” testimonies.
  • Feb 25, 2015: Ruling deferred for lack of quorum in the court
  • May 6, 2015: Ondoga acquitted of failing to execute his duties but kept in custody on other charges.
  • May 8, 2015: Final charges dismissed and Ondoga released.
  • March, 2016: Appointed as deputy director at NEC, the UPDF’s business portfolio